Published: Fri, November 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

North Korea releases U.S. detainee claiming to be under CIA's command

North Korea releases U.S. detainee claiming to be under CIA's command

A USA think tank said on Monday it had identified at least 13 of an estimated 20 active, undeclared missile bases inside North Korea, underscoring the challenge for American negotiators hoping to persuadeKim to give up his weapons programs.

The Korean Central News Agency confirmed the man's identity as Bruce Byron Lowrance from MI.

North Korea did not specify the type of device involved, but South Korean media said it was likely to be new long-range artillery developed under Kim's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il.

It comes as Washington's diplomatic efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear program appear to have stalled.

North Korea has chose to expel a United States citizen who illegally entered the country last month, Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency said on Friday.

In 2017, the North released a USA student who had been arrested a year earlier for stealing a propaganda sign.

"Japan for the past 70 years has not even acknowledged its variety of war crimes such as forced labor and sexual slavery, let alone apologizing for them or compensating the victims", said Ri, vice chairman of North Korea's Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee.

Kim Jong-un inspected the testing of a newly developed high-tech tactical weapon at the Academy of National Defence Science.

Earlier this month the allies resumed a small-scale amphibious drill, the Korea Marine Exercise Program, prompting criticism by the North's media.


The test was successful and the weapon could protect North Korea like a "steel wall", KCNA, the North Korean news agency, said.

Yang Wook, a Seoul-based military expert, said a "tactical weapon" in North Korea refers to "a weapon aimed at striking South Korea including US military bases" there, so the North may have tested a short-range missile or a multiple rocket launch system.

After the Singapore summit, Trump announced the suspension of joint military exercises with the South, the United States' treaty ally, calling them "provocative" in an echo of the North's condemnations.

Mr Trump greeted them on their arrival near Washington after they travelled home with Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state.

North Korea has continued to showcase its conventional military capabilities, including at a large military parade in Pyongyang, its capital, on September 9.

Diplomacy has stalled since the Singapore summit, with Washington pushing for more action on nuclear disarmament and the North insisting that the US first approve a peace declaration formally ending the Korean War and lift sanctions.

Even if the test was a message for Washington and Seoul, Friday's report from the North was noticeably less belligerent than past announcements of weapons tests, and didn't focus on North Korean claims of USA and South Korean hostility. He was described as "so excited to say that another great work was done by the defense scientists and munitions industrial workers to increase the defense capability of the country".

South Korea's defense ministry said it did not have an immediate comment but was preparing a statement on the North Korean test.

The news came nearly a year after Pyongyang's last test of an intercontinental ballistic missile and recalled the repeated announcements of 2017, which included by far its most powerful nuclear blast to date and rockets that brought the whole of the United States mainland into range.

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